From the Head of the Junior School

From the Head of the Junior School

Dear Parents and Friends of the Junior School,

Caring is an attribute of the Learner Profile that we seek to grow in our boys because it is a fundamental attribute of good men. A caring approach manifests in actions that are almost always impactful and appreciated by others. Caring for others is evidenced in the words and actions exchanged between boys, their teachers and others, across countless encounters every school day. It also shows in the generosity of boys, staff and parents towards others, so demonstrably illustrated again this week by the vast collection of items massed under the Anglicare Christmas Tree, given to share some Christmas joy with those in our city less able to provide for themselves. Toys, games, food of many varieties and toiletries spilled from the tree across the foyer, provided by Junior School families or purchased by the Year 6 Charity Leaders with excess funds from the class ‘Dave’ jars. In the end, the boys filled over 60 boxes for loading onto the truck earlier this week! Thank you, Junior School families, for yet another example of our community generously caring for others, following on from extraordinary action and contributions towards other causes we have championed this year such as OIC Cambodia (Day Without Speech), JMF (Walk-a-thon), Compassion Australia (Dave), All Together Now (Harmony Day), Planet Ark (World Environment Day), Canteen (Bandana Day), and Cabbage Tree Primary School (Book Fair).

The boys and staff also did a wonderful job caring for themselves and one another at Year 5 at camp on Lake Macquarie. Abseiling, sailing, rafting and laser-tagging were a few of the great activities that kept them busy. I had the privilege of spending Thursday with the boys and was impressed by the enthusiasm and cooperation they displayed with one another and their camp leaders. Many boys particularly pushed themselves to overcome a personal challenge when fear or unfamiliarity may ordinarily have stopped them from having a go. Some boys slept in a tent for the first time. And for most, this was their first camp or time away from home, a great preparation for the gradual increase in length of camp and level of challenge that lies ahead in Year 6 and beyond. The boys and staff embraced the opportunity to learn about themselves and one another in an environment very different from home or the classroom. Thank you to Miss Cross, Miss Tone, Mrs Bradfield, Mrs Cook, Mrs Albrighton, Mrs Leedow, Mr Charles and Mr Bishop who took time off from their own families and responsibilities to look after the boys.

Each boy has grown and developed throughout the year in so many facets of life. This year’s growth, particularly the development across Semester 2, is captured in your son’s Semester 2 Report which will be made accessible on-line next week. If there are any points of clarification, feel free to address these with the relevant teacher in the final days. I encourage each student to spend time with their parent/s reflecting upon the messages that teachers have included in their report. A particular reflection and discussion point can be the Approaches to Learning ‘web’ and the student reflection comment on the first page. In particular, for students in Years 3-6, the correlation or discrepancy between teachers’ assessment and self-assessment in the five over-arching Approaches to Learning may generate discussion and be inspiration to set some goals for next year.

I am now in a position to advise of staffing appointments for next year including some new teachers for the Junior School. We welcome to the staff two classroom teachers: Mr Bradleigh Camilleri (working casually in Junior School); and Mr Steven Snell (returning from an extended period overseas and currently teaching in Frankfurt). Both are wonderful educators and we look forward to them bringing energy, experience and expertise to our learning community. We will welcome back Mrs Weston in a part-time capacity working across classes. Mr Larkin will continue to work in the Junior School, sharing the Teacher-Librarian role with Mrs Bowden until Ms Gratton returns from maternity leave. We will be saying farewell to Ms Best at the end of this year and congratulate her on an appointment at Queenwood as a class teacher where we are sure the girls will enjoy her. We thank Ms Best for her service to Trinity and the Junior School over six years.

Classroom teachers in 2023 will be:

Kindergarten:    Miss Hannah Regan

Year 1:                Mrs Jessica Taylor

Year 2:                Mrs Shelley Richards

Year 3:                Mr Brad Camilleri and Ms Miriam Cross

Year 4:                Miss Chloe Martin and Mr Kieran Janes

Year 5:                Mrs Jacque Bradfield, Mrs Alanna Hulstone (nee Tone) and Mr Steven Snell

Year 6:                Mr Patrick Hoare, Mr Tony Cha and Mrs Jenny Tredinnick

Parents and boys will be made aware of 2023 class placements via letter that will be brought home early next week. These letters should be unopened when they reach you! Parents are reminded that the School considers class allocation decisions very carefully in the context of serving the learning needs of all students in a year group and is not in a position to accommodate individual requests following placement.

Whilst next week has many celebratory events, these will be tinged for some boys by the disappointment of missing out on a hoped-for position or prize. Year 5 boys are readying themselves for assuming the mantle of Junior School leadership and those who have nominated to be considered for School and House Officer roles will eagerly be awaiting next Friday’s announcement of 2023 leaders at Prize Giving. Many boys in Years 3-6 will learn during the week if they are among the select group of students to receive a prize at Friday’s Prize Giving Ceremony. The reality of life is that all of us will have many experiences of welcome and unwelcome news ahead of us, no matter our age. Rudyard Kipling noted that one marker of making the transition from boy to man is “If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster and treat those two imposters just the same”. The announcements that accompany end-of-year events can become those ‘imposters’ for a young man, eliciting significant joy or disappointment depending on whether or not it is your name or another’s that is announced for the prize or position you had set your heart upon. Parents and teachers can do much to help boys understand that these experiences and associated emotions are a normal part of life. We can learn from pleasing and disappointing experiences, and we always have choices about how we react to both. Whilst enjoying a moment of success, we can learn to be considerate and thoughtful of others for whom it is a difficult moment. And we can learn also that in moments of personal disappointment, we can still be generous and sincere in congratulating others and acknowledging their achievement. Most of all…life goes on and usually assumes a rhythm which will soon distract us from the moment passed.

There are many significant events scheduled for the final week, including Year 6 Dinner, Year 6 Valedictory Service, Years 3-6 Picnic Day, K-2 Christmas Service and Years 3-6 Prize Giving Ceremony. Please refer to the details distributed separately about each event. However, I do remind parents that all boys in Years 3-6 are expected to attend Prize Giving next Friday. Based on the cancellation of the industrial rail action, I can now confirm that the Junior School Prize Giving Ceremony will be held at Town Hall, still commencing at 9am. Students and families to make their own way to and from Town Hall.

I remind parents that after-school co-curricular activities which run in the Junior School have now concluded for the year. In the case of a couple of exceptions that will run next week (eg. EAP/TAP), the organisers have communicated details of final sessions to parents of participants directly.

From the start of next year, the School will be utilising a new portal, known as InSite, to facilitate communication within the extended Trinity community. The content that has previously been communicated through the Bulletin will be published on the InSite platform. It will mix long form articles with notices and updates; our intent is to unclog email inboxes and make information and news easier and faster to find. You can read more and watch a quick video introduction to InSite here.

As this is the last newsletter for 2022, I would like to take this opportunity to again thank students, staff and families for their hard work, co-operation and support throughout this year. We have worked together to support each other and help each boy grow. I am especially grateful to parents for your trust in us, and for the regular expressions of support for staff across the year.

In 2023, we anticipate starting with 300 boys in the Junior School across 13 classes and we look forward to welcoming our current students into their new classes along with 81 new students. Classes commence for all students in Kindergarten to Year 6 on Wednesday 1st February, 2023. We cross our fingers that the carpark reconfiguration will be complete and accessible by that date and it is my intention to communicate any impact on our drop-off and pick-up procedures in the days before term commences.

I wish all families a wonderful Christmas and all the blessings of the season. We look forward to swapping holiday stories on the first day back in 2023. God bless!

Mark Dunn | Head of the Junior School

“Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favour rests.”

Luke 2:10-14

Junior School Music Evening

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